Gods in the Bazaar: The Economies of Indian Calendar Art (Objects/Histories)

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9780822339267: Gods in the Bazaar: The Economies of Indian Calendar Art (Objects/Histories)

Gods in the Bazaar is a fascinating account of the printed images known in India as “calendar art” or “bazaar art,” the color-saturated, mass-produced pictures often used on calendars and in advertisements, featuring deities and other religious themes as well as nationalist leaders, alluring women, movie stars, chubby babies, and landscapes. Calendar art appears in all manner of contexts in India: in chic elite living rooms, middle-class kitchens, urban slums, village huts; hung on walls, stuck on scooters and computers, propped up on machines, affixed to dashboards, tucked into wallets and lockets. In this beautifully illustrated book, Kajri Jain examines the power that calendar art wields in Indian mass culture, arguing that its meanings derive as much from the production and circulation of the images as from their visual features.

Jain draws on interviews with artists, printers, publishers, and consumers as well as analyses of the prints themselves to trace the economies—of art, commerce, religion, and desire—within which calendar images and ideas about them are formulated. For Jain, an analysis of the bazaar, or vernacular commercial arena, is crucial to understanding not only the calendar art that circulates within the bazaar but also India’s postcolonial modernity and the ways that its mass culture has developed in close connection with a religiously inflected nationalism. The bazaar is characterized by the coexistence of seemingly incompatible elements: bourgeois-liberal and neoliberal modernism on the one hand, and vernacular discourses and practices on the other. Jain argues that from the colonial era to the present, capitalist expansion has depended on the maintenance of these multiple coexisting realms: the sacred, the commercial, and the artistic; the official and the vernacular.

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From the Publisher:

"A virtuoso examination of the `luminous banality' of calendar art. In mapping the moral economy of bazaar Hinduism, it provides a history of much of twentieth-century India and predicts much of what might happen in the present century."--Christopher Pinney, author of "Photos of the Gods": The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India

From the Back Cover:

"In this groundbreaking book, Kajri Jain analyzes the 'frames of value' surrounding the contemporary Indian genre of mass-produced prints often known as bazaar art, 'lurid, pungent, frequently tatty' colored images of gods displayed on calendars. Recognizing that the value of these printed images to their viewers far exceeds their literal material value or the value that we might be tempted to assign to them in artistic terms, in a rich and vivid analysis based on firsthand research in the calendar-art industry Jain deals with their many values--social, political, religious, aesthetic, historical, affective, and libidinal. "Gods in the Bazaar" makes a significant theoretical contribution to globalizing our notion of aesthetic experience; in the sensuous and sacred economies of calendar art, what appears to be lurid and tatty can also be moving, precious, and exciting. Jain's deft weaving of art history, aesthetics, anthropology, and the study of popular visual culture is a tour de force and deserves a wide readership among students of all image-making traditions around the world."--Whitney Davis, Professor of History and Theory of Ancient and Modern Art, University of California, Berkeley

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Gods in the Bazaar is a fascinating account of the printed images known in India as calendar art or bazaar art, the color-saturated, mass-produced pictures often used on calendars and in advertisements, featuring deities and other religious themes as well as nationalist leaders, alluring women, movie stars, chubby babies, and landscapes. Calendar art appears in all manner of contexts in India: in chic elite living rooms, middle-class kitchens, urban slums, village huts; hung on walls, stuck on scooters and computers, propped up on machines, affixed to dashboards, tucked into wallets and lockets. In this beautifully illustrated book, Kajri Jain examines the power that calendar art wields in Indian mass culture, arguing that its meanings derive as much from the production and circulation of the images as from their visual features. Jain draws on interviews with artists, printers, publishers, and consumers as well as analyses of the prints themselves to trace the economies-of art, commerce, religion, and desire-within which calendar images and ideas about them are formulated. For Jain, an analysis of the bazaar, or vernacular commercial arena, is crucial to understanding not only the calendar art that circulates within the bazaar but also India s postcolonial modernity and the ways that its mass culture has developed in close connection with a religiously inflected nationalism. The bazaar is characterized by the coexistence of seemingly incompatible elements: bourgeois-liberal and neoliberal modernism on the one hand, and vernacular discourses and practices on the other. Jain argues that from the colonial era to the present, capitalist expansion has depended on the maintenance of these multiple coexisting realms: the sacred, the commercial, and the artistic; the official and the vernacular. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780822339267

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Gods in the Bazaar is a fascinating account of the printed images known in India as calendar art or bazaar art, the color-saturated, mass-produced pictures often used on calendars and in advertisements, featuring deities and other religious themes as well as nationalist leaders, alluring women, movie stars, chubby babies, and landscapes. Calendar art appears in all manner of contexts in India: in chic elite living rooms, middle-class kitchens, urban slums, village huts; hung on walls, stuck on scooters and computers, propped up on machines, affixed to dashboards, tucked into wallets and lockets. In this beautifully illustrated book, Kajri Jain examines the power that calendar art wields in Indian mass culture, arguing that its meanings derive as much from the production and circulation of the images as from their visual features. Jain draws on interviews with artists, printers, publishers, and consumers as well as analyses of the prints themselves to trace the economies-of art, commerce, religion, and desire-within which calendar images and ideas about them are formulated. For Jain, an analysis of the bazaar, or vernacular commercial arena, is crucial to understanding not only the calendar art that circulates within the bazaar but also India s postcolonial modernity and the ways that its mass culture has developed in close connection with a religiously inflected nationalism. The bazaar is characterized by the coexistence of seemingly incompatible elements: bourgeois-liberal and neoliberal modernism on the one hand, and vernacular discourses and practices on the other. Jain argues that from the colonial era to the present, capitalist expansion has depended on the maintenance of these multiple coexisting realms: the sacred, the commercial, and the artistic; the official and the vernacular. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780822339267

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